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What are the different ways of communicating with SAP through Java?

Expert Austin Sincock weighs in on the best method to communicate with SAP by using Java.

What are the different ways of communicating with SAP through Java? Which is preferable?

There are many different ways to connect to SAP R/3. Your choice depends largely on the type of application you are building. If you are looking to support transparent system to non-SAP system commication, then using the XML document standards of Business Connector (BC) is the tool for you. BC allows you to chain together multiple RFC/BAPI calls in what is termed a pipeline into which you map inbound XML fields using the BC browser.

If you need to provide realtime, client based communication (from a Web page), then JCo is the right connector for you. JCo is a highly optimized Java Native Interface (JNI) that provides quick connectivity into the RFC/BAPI layer.

If you are looking for a more Microsoft-centric solution, check out SAP's COM/DCOM bridge. As you can tell, there are many approachs for connecting to R/3. The right one depends largely on your requirements and internal platform landscape (UNIX, Windows, etc.)

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